TMRA Government Affairs Report: By Mance Zachary, Committee Chairman
TMRA Government Affairs Report
By TMRA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Mance Zachary, Vistra Energy
The 86th Legislative Session commenced on Jan. 8, followed by the inauguration of Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) was unanimously elected Speaker of the House.
Lt. Governor Patrick announced his committees on Jan. 18, including several with TMRA oversight: Senate Business and Commerce chaired by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), Senate Natural Resources chaired by Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), and Senate Water & Rural Affairs chaired by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock).
Speaker Bonnen announced his committees on Jan. 23, including the following with TMRA interest: House State Affairs chaired by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Nederland), House Environmental Regulation chaired by Rep. J.M. Lozano (R-Corpus Christi), House Land & Resource Management chaired by Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland), House Energy Resources chaired by Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall), House Natural Resources chaired by Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio).
The Senate have started a few of their committee meetings and the House will start organizational meetings by early February. Governor Abbott will conduct his State of the State address on Feb. 5 and it’s during this speech that he will lay out his priority items for the state. It’s those items that can be voted on within the first 60 days of the session.
The issues that members primarily campaigned on during the interim were school finance and property tax reform. The TMRA Government Affairs team will track and address bills that impact its members. Some that have already been filed pertain to setback distances for developments, coal carbon tax, eminent domain, increased TCEQ penalties and Railroad Commission rules enforcement. Our Government Affairs team held our first meeting on Jan. 17 and will meet twice a month for the duration of the session to strategize association direction on pending legislation.
Lastly, we are preparing for the May 27 Sine Die party that TMRA hosts at the close of each session. Initial and follow-up sponsorship solicitations have gone out and a “Save the Date” reminder card will be distributed in early February to the Capitol and potential sponsors.
Let me know if you have any questions.